Weekly Global Unrest Roundup

Patrick Barnette

This past month has been full of absurdly unreported foriegn affairs.

Protests have exploded in Russia over the arrest of Russian political opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, upon his return to the country from Germany. Navalny, who was suspectedly poisoned in an airport in Russia, was rushed to Germany for treatment where he made a recovery. It is fairly safe to assume that the poisoning was the work of the Putin Regime (who outright denies all allegations of the poisoning). It seemed even more likely that the Kremlin was behind the plot, when on January 20, Russian police raided Navalny’s offices in Moscow. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Moscow alone to protest Navalny’s initial arrest, resulting in a violent response from police. Despite thousands of arrests across Russia, demonstrations are still building across the country.

Violence has broken out on the streets of Lebanon after a series of protests were violently snuffed by security and military forces. The protests, which were initially over the government’s inadequate response to COVID-19, have undoubtedly become a greater outcry against the Lebanese government as a whole. Security forces have used live rounds on the protesters, injuring hundreds, with a number of protesters dead. 

A coup in Myanmar has disposed of the country’s democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, placing the military establishment in control of the official government. Suu Kyi took control from the military leadership in 2015 after winning 80% of the vote. However, very little change actually took place once Suu Kyi won the election, leaving the military to continue holding most of the real power behind the scenes. Nonetheless, the coup is a massive loss for democracy in Myanmar, especially considering the change that needs to be made concerning the country’s genocide of Muslim Rohingya people at the hands of the military. 

Protests in Turkey have broken out over president Erdogan’s appointment of a close political ally as the rector to a progressive university in Istanbul. Students and faculty of Boğaziçi university, one of Turkey’s most esteemed universities, and one of it’s few left-leaning institutions, have begun peacefully protesting the appointment of the new rector. The appointee, Melih Bulu, is a member of the Turkish AKP, the far-right nationalist party of the current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The protests also seemed to partially evolve into anger against the AKP’s extreme repression of Turkey’s LGBTQ+ citizens after students were arrested last month for mixing Islamic and LGBTQ+ imagery in photos. The protests that began as peaceful were immediately shut down with pepper spray and beatings, and hundreds have been arrested across Turkey so far. The situation is only another item to add to the list of the AKP’s brutal actions, along with the support of Azeri militants in Armenia, the bombing and capture of Kurdish civilians in Syria, etc. 

It would be pretty cool if the mainstream media in the US would inform the public of these stories in order to educate people about the world around them.